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viernes, 26 de enero de 2018

Aquafil and Genomatica come together to develop sustainable caprolactam for bio-nylon products

Type of post: NEWS IN BRIEF.

Caprolactam is an organic compound whose global market is approximately 5 million tons per year. The vast majority is used to make nylon-based products including carpets and apparel. It is traditionally synthetized from oil-derived cyclohexanone. The Italian Aquafil is a leading player in that nylon industry with presence in eight countries on three continents, employing more than 2,700 staff at 15 plants. One of its strategic priorities is to grow and produce in full respect of the environment. In this sense, the company launched the ECONYL® Regeneration System in 2011 to produce nylon made from regenerated waste. Now, it goes one step further by involving in the development of sustainable nylon with a strong partner in the biotechnology field.

Aquafil and Genomatica have just announced a multiyear agreement to create sustainable caprolactam (see press release, 23/01/2018). The collaboration aims to develop a commercially-advantageous bioprocess to make caprolactam using plant-based ingredients: Genomatica’s GENO CPL™. The process will provide an environmentally-friendly way to make caprolactam with better economics, including for smaller-scale plants. The performance of the nylon end products will be fully comparable to those made from crude oil-derived caprolactam and will not require any machine or process adjustments by the nylon supply chain.

Figure 1. Value chain of the bio-nylon process (extracted from the press release)

Genomatica invites other leaders in the value chain to join its bio-nylon program and Aquafil encourages further collaboration with supply chain partners. By joining the program, companies ranging from chemical producers and product makers to agriculture companies and major brands can influence priorities and gain access to Genomatica’s technologies and supply of bio-based chemicals.

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